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Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyer for radiologist errorsMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, computed tomography (CT) tests, and other imaging tests have dramatically improved doctors’ ability to diagnose patients. These tests allow doctors to see inside a patient’s body without the need for invasive surgery. However, when the results from an imagining test are misread, the test can do more harm than good. If you were harmed because a radiologist misinterpreted the result of your imaging test, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice.

Radiologist Mistakes Can Lead to Considerable Patient Harm

Radiologists are highly educated and spend years learning about how to properly interpret the results of an imaging test. However, this does not mean that radiologists are immune to mistakes. Unfortunately, misunderstanding the results of a patient’s imaging test can be disastrous. The patient may not receive a correct diagnosis in time to prevent additional harm or even death. Failure to diagnose cancer is one of the most serious consequences that may result from a radiologist’s mistake. The patient may be left with additional medical bills, lost income from missed work, and other financial losses. He or she may be forced to suffer avoidable, painful symptoms.

When Is a Radiologist or Other Doctor Guilty of Medical Malpractice?

Medical professionals cannot be held to the standard of perfection. To know if a radiologist’s mistake constitutes medical negligence, his or her actions must be compared to the accepted medical standard. In medical malpractice claims, the standard used to establish if a medical professional’s conduct was negligent is the “medical standard of care.” This is usually defined as the quality of care that a reasonably skilled person of similar expertise would have provided in similar circumstances. In most medical malpractice cases, highly experienced medical experts in the same field as the defendant are asked to weigh in regarding the defendant’s actions and whether the defendant met the medical standard of care.

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Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersCancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Almost everyone has a story of how cancer has touched their lives. Fortunately, medical advances have significantly decreased the rate at which people die of cancer. Cancer can now be detected at an earlier stage and more and more people can get the treatment they need before the disease takes their lives. However, to get the life-saving cancer treatment a patient needs, he or she must first be diagnosed with the disease by a physician. Failing to promptly diagnose cancer can constitute a form of medical malpractice.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis is the first step to stopping the spread of cancer. When a doctor or specialist fails to see the warning signs of cancer and order the appropriate cancer screening tests, a patient may suffer irreparable harm. Sadly, some patients die because a medical professional fails to diagnose cancer.

There are many different ways in which medical negligence can lead to a delayed, misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis of cancer, including:

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Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersEmergency room doctors, nurses, and other staff are held to extremely high standards. They are often the first medical professionals that an injured or ill person seeks help from. ER staff have the crucial responsibility of assessing a patient’s condition and determining the next steps. They often deal with immediate, life-threatening medical emergencies. If an ER doctor makes a mistake, it can cost the patient his or her life. If you were injured or a loved one died and you suspect that substandard emergency room treatment was the cause, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.

What Constitutes Substandard Medical Treatment at the ER?

Going to the emergency room does not guarantee a positive outcome. ER doctors and nurses cannot always save a patient or fix their medical issues. However, ER staff are expected to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard. In other words, they must provide the level of care that a reasonably competent medical staff of the same profession would have provided in a similar situation. If a doctor fails to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard and the patient is harmed or killed as a result, this may be considered medical negligence. If the patient’s injury or death is caused by negligent medical care and the injury or death causes damages, this is medical malpractice.

ER doctors often must make quick decisions with limited information. For example, an ER doctor may not have time to get a full patient history or to order a battery of tests before he or she begins treatment. Because of this, the standard of care that ER doctors must meet may be lower than what would be expected of a primary care physician or another medical professional in a less immediate situation.  

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Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersIdeally, a professional in any industry should do his or her job to the best of his or her ability. When someone is a doctor, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional, job performance is a matter of life and death. Even a seemingly simple mistake or oversight can lead to disastrous consequences in the medical field. Some medical mistakes are so grievous that they are called “never events” because they should never happen. If you or a loved one were harmed in a never event, it is important to learn about your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Never Events

Medical professionals are human, and like all humans, they can make mistakes. However, when a medical professional makes a serious, avoidable medical mistake, the professional or the facility may be liable for damages. Often, medical malpractice cases involve ambiguous situations in which a medical worker’s actions are questionable but not immediately, obviously negligent. It is only after a detailed investigation that the medical professional’s negligence becomes apparent. A never event is typically much more blatant. Some examples of never events include:

  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Leaving a foreign object such as a surgical tool inside the patient’s body
  • Using contaminated drugs or devices
  • Administering the wrong medication or an inaccurate dose of medication
  • Inseminating the wrong egg or using the wrong donor sperm during artificial insemination
  • Allowing a patient’s bed sore to reach a stage 3 or above in severity
  • Physical abuse or sexual assault of a patient

Legal Rights After Being the Victim of a Never Event

Although serious, avoidable medical mistakes should never be made, studies show that these events are more common than one may assume. One study found that over 4,000 never events occur each year in the United States. If you were injured because of a medical mistake or your loved one died because of medical negligence, you may have the right to bring a civil claim against the liable party. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost income due to missed work, funeral and burial expenses, disability, disfigurement, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.

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Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersThere are a variety of ways that doctors or other medical professionals can make mistakes that affect the health and well-being of their patients. Misdiagnosis is one of the most prevalent forms of medical malpractice, and it can cause patients to suffer serious harm. If a person’s condition is not properly diagnosed, they may not receive the necessary treatment in time to prevent serious risks to their health, or they may receive the wrong type of treatment, which can lead to additional health complications. 

Conditions That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons. Doctors may fail to properly consider a patient’s medical history, they may not spend enough time examining a patient, or they may not give enough weight to the symptoms reported by the patient. In other cases, diagnostic errors, including mistakes at medical labs, failure to order the proper tests, or failure to properly review test results, can lead to an incorrect diagnosis.

Some of the illnesses and ailments that are most commonly misdiagnosed include:

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